Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th July

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Our latest New Music Monday featured new songs and videos from the likes of Big Sky Mountain, Devandra Banhart, Harley Mavis, Hein Cooper, Joe Man Murphy, Joe Pug, Karine Polwart, The Brother Brothers feat. Sarah Jarosz & Jeff Picker, Wallis Bird and Witches Leap. Listen and watch them here

Releases This Week

Greta Stanley
Sun In My EyesGreta Stanley
iTunes

Fever Dream
Fever DreamOf Monsters and Men
iTunes

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Groundwater Country Music Festival

Groundwater

Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Gold Coast, QLD

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July – Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival, Echuca, Victoria

Adam Eckersley Band
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Amber Lawrence
Friday 26th July – Gunnedah Hotel, Gunnedah, NSW
Saturday 27th July – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, Dubbo, NSW
Friday 2nd August – Deniliquin Club, Deniliquin, NSW

Andrew Swift
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Big Sky Mountain
Friday 26th July – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July – Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival, Echuca, Victoria
Friday 2nd August – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Brad Cox
Friday 2nd August – Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Busby Marou
Friday 26th July – The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Catherine Britt w/ The Weeping Willows
Saturday 27th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

David Bridie
Saturday 27th July – The Peacock Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Doc & the Delegates
Saturday 27th July – Clarendon Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Dope Lemon
Friday 2nd August – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July – Echuca, Victoria

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Thursday 1st August – The Drawing Room on Flinders, Townsville, QLD
Friday 2nd August – Herbert River Crushers Hall, Ingham, QLD

Felicity Urquhart
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

FolkSwagon feat. Julia Johnson, Ruben Neeson, Sebastian Field
Wednesday 31st July – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Freya Josephine Hollick
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Gary & James Daley
Saturday 27th July – Nolan On Lovel Gallery, Katoomba, NSW

Great Aunt
Sunday 28th July – The Cambus Wallace, Gold Coast, QLD

Greta Stanley
Saturday 29th June – Neck of the Woods Festival, Townsville, QLD

Gretta Ziller
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Groundwater Country Music Festival
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Gold Coast, QLD

Honky Tonkin’ feat. King Arthur
Thursday 1st August – The Rook’s Return, Melbourne, VIC

Illawarra Folk Club feat. Victor Mishalow
Sunday 28th July – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

Jeff Lang
Friday 26th July – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Saturday 27th July – Candelo Town Hall, Candelo, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Jess Ribeiro
Friday 26th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 27th July – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 2nd August – The Rye Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

John Schumann and Shane Howard
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Jordan Ireland with Purple Orchestra w/ Babey, Soda Eaves
Thursday 1st August – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Katie Brianna
Friday 2nd August – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW

Kay Proudlove
Sunday 28th July – Succulent Sessions, Sydney, NSW

Kim Wheeler & Roadside Holiday
Tuesday 30th July – Mountain Pickers Association, Ferntree Gully Bowling Club, Ferntree Gully, VIC

Little Georgia
Friday 26th July – The Lennox Sessions, Lennox Head, NSW
Friday 2nd August – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

M.E. Baird
Thursday 27th July – The Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Mark Oats and Matty Zarb
Friday 26th July – Django at Camelot, Sydney, NSW

Melanie Horsnell
Sunday 28th July – Old Canberra Inn, Canberra, ACT

Mick Hart
Friday 26th and Saturday 27th July – Winter Blues Festival, Echuca, VIC
Sunday 28th July – The Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC

Miriam Lieberman
Wednesday 31st July – Peach Black, Sydney, NSW

Montgomery Church
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 2nd August – Hume Conservatorium, Goulburn, NSW

Mustered Courage
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Neil Murray
Saturday 27th July – Victoria Hotel, Dimboola, VIC
Sunday 28th July – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Tuesday 30th July – Woomera Heritage Centre, Woomera, SA

Oly Sherman w/ Dom Youdan, James Campbell
Saturday 27th July – Low 302, Sydney, NSW

Paddy McHugh & Andy Golledge
Friday 26th July – The Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Peta Caswell & The Lost Cause
Friday 2nd August – Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Round Mountain Girls
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Sahara Beck
Friday 26th July – The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 31st July – The Brother’s Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Simon Imrei
Friday 2nd August – Music on the Hill, Red Hill, VIC

Skyscraper Stan
Friday 26th July – Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine, VIC
Saturday 27th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Scottish Price, Gold Coast, QLD

Taste Of Tamworth feat. Carter & Carter, Lyn Bowtell, Jayne Denham, The Weeping Willows
Thursday 1st August – The Forge Theatre and Arts Hub, Bairnsdale, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Alexandra Town Hall, Alexandra, VIC

The Bluebird Sings
Saturday 27th July – Dashville, Belford, NSW

The Bottlers
Sunday 28th July – The Welcome Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Bushwackers
Friday 26th July – Outback Queensland Masters, Mount Isa, QLD

The Hillbilly Goats
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 27th July – Esk Club Hotel, Esk, QLD

The Little Lord Street Band
Friday 26th July – Grumpy’s Music Bar, Perth, WA
Sunday 28th July – Otherside Brewing Co, Perth, WA

The Loaded Dog Folk Club feat. Chloe & Jason Roweth, Buck & Deanne
Saturday 27th July – Annandale Neighbourhood Centre, Sydney, NSW

The Royal High Jinx
Friday 2nd August – Tabcorp Park, Melton South, VIC

The Slowdowns
Friday 26th July – The Unicorn Hotel, Sydney, NSW

The Weeping Willows
Saturday 27th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 1st August – The Forge Theatre and Arts Hub, Bairnsdale, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Alexandra Town Hall, Alexandra, VIC

Thelma Plum
Friday 26th July – The Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Tori Forsyth
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD

Vardos
Friday 26th July – 24 Moons Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Witches Leap w/ Lisa Richards
Saturday 27th July – Troubadour Folk Club, St Lukes Hall, Woy Woy, NSW

Woman Enough feat. Catherine Britt, Melody Moko, Natalie Henry
Friday 26th July – Great Northern Trading Post, Laguna, NSW
Saturday 27th July – House Concert, Kiama, NSW
Sunday 28th July – House Concert, Caves Beach, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Gambler” – First Aid Kit

New Music Monday – 22nd July

Harely Mavis
Image Courtesy of Harley Mavis

Big Sky Mountain – “Cover My Tracks”

The latest single from seven-piece, Sydney-based alt-country and Americana band Big Sky Mountain is the rollicking “Cover My Tracks”. I love how this track just drives forward with the rhythmic chug drums, bass and ukulele while still showcasing the band’s beautiful harmonies and diverse instrumentation – the subtle trumpet parts throughout the song are spot on.

Big Sky Mountain have a bunch of gigs coming up – the full list is here:

Friday 26th July – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th August – Club Willoughby, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 14th September – Crack ‘N’ Jack Spring Music Festival, Port Stephens, NSW
Saturday 19th Octover – Fusion Multicultural Street Festival, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Devendra Banhart – “Abre Las Manos”

Freak folk pioneer Devendra Banhart has just given us a taste of his upcoming album Ma (due on the 13th September) with the latin inspired track “Abre Las Manos”. Sung entirely in Spanish, “Abre Las Manos” was inspired by Banhart’s motherland, Venezuela with the title translating to “Open Your Hands”. In typical Devendra Banhart style the song takes traditional musical forms and plays with them, adding a trippy, ethereal feel to the song.

“My brother is in Venezuela, my cousins, my aunts and uncles,” Devendra Banhart explained. “They are just holding their breath, in gridlock standstill. Maybe there is more Spanish writing on Ma because of the helplessness I’m feeling, it’s on my mind more than ever. I was thinking about the sorrow of having to put a child up for adoption, loving that child but not being with them, for whatever reason. That child is out in the world and you have to love them from afar. And that is exactly how I have felt observing the situation in Venezuela. There’s this helplessness, this place that has been a mother to you, that you’re a mother to as well, and it’s suffering so much. There is nothing you can do but send out love and remain in that sorrowful state.”

Harley Mavis – “Thief”

Sydney based alt-folk artist Harley Mavis (who previously performed under the name Hannah Robinson) is channeling her inner Stevie Nicks for her latest single “Thief”. The folk rock song combines Harley Mavis’ big voice with a cracking band that really drives the pace forward.

“”Thief” is a reflection of being in a really emotionally manipulative relationship and constantly feeling like that person has a hold on you regardless of having broken up,” Harley Mavis explained. “It’s a song that really encapsulates my mental health at that time in my life.”

Hein Cooper – “Invincible”

From it’s atmospheric opening right through to its huge crescendo, “Invincible” from singer-songwriter Hein Cooper is a beautiful piece of work. The single, which also has a power, cinematic video, once agains demonstrates just what a talent Cooper is.

If you want to catch Hein Cooper live there’s a bunch of dates in August supported by Leonie Kingdom:

Saturday 3rd August – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Thursday 8th August – Cambridge Warehouse, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 9th August – Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th August – The Basement, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th August – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW
Friday 23rd August – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 24th August – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 25th August – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Thursday 29th August – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Joe Man Murphy – “The Old Pine Tree”

Irish born, Australian based singer-songwriter (and one quarter of Adelaide band The Timbers) Joe Man Murphy has released his brand new single “The Old Pine Tree”. The track has an expansive sound typical of Australian folk music with some Mark Knopfler-esque electric guitar that helps to elevate Murphy’s songwriting. The video for “The Old Pine Tree” combines Joe Man Murphy’s music with his other passion of visual art.

Joe Pug – “The Flood in Color”

Joe Pug’s highly anticipated new album The Flood in Color landed last week and it’s truly magical. Pug also released the lead single which sees the songwriter at his best – guitar, harmonica and a simple backing band to highlight his stunning lyrics. Pug’s songwriting economy is really a true talent – here’s a song that is under 3 minutes long and lyrically sparse but is still able to convey so much emotion.

Karine Polwart – “Chance”

Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart releases her tribute to Scottish pop, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook, on the 2nd August and everything we’ve heard so far from it has been really interesting. Here Polwart reinterprets Big Country’s classic track “Chance”, stripping it back to its core with really beautiful instrumentation including flutes and glockenspiel.

The Brother Brothers feat. Sarah Jarosz, Jeff Picker – “Colorado”

I love this. Folk duo The Brother Brothers have teamed with singer and guitarist Sarah Jarosz and bassist Jeff Picker for the gorgeous new single “Colorado”. Sitting somewhere between the songwriting of Paul Simon and the vocal delivery of Dylan in his quieter moments, the song has everything you want from modern folk music.

Wallis Bird – “Salve!”

“Salve!” is the latest taster of the upcoming album Woman from Irish singer-songwriter Wallis Bird. The soul and funk of “Salve!” is a whole lot of fun, and will immediately have you up and dancing – such a fun track. Woman is due for release on the 27th September.

Witches Leap – “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”

Blue Mountains based trio Witches Leap provide one of first instrumental tracks for New Music Monday with their reels “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”. The combination of flute, pipes and guitar evokes a magical landscape that could be Ireland or could also be the wilderness of the Mountains – and the video compliments this perfectly.

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2017

Christmas Cats

It’s Christmas Eve which means its time to publish our favourite Christmas tracks released this year with a folky flavour.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Looking forward to folking with you in 2018

Amber Lawrence – “Aussie Aussie Christmas”

Jennifer Hanson – “Only Thing I Really Need”

Balsam Range – “Christmas Lullaby”

Paul Mosley & the Red Meat Orchestra – “Wintersun”

Bradley Palermo – “Christmas In Las Vegas”

Courtney Marie Andrews – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

Lori McKenna – “Mama’s Cooking”

Sera Cahoone – “Last Christmas”

Phoebe Bridgers – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Amilia K Spicer – “Love’s For Living”

Audio Mozaik – “(They Say) It’s Christmastime”

SUSTO – “Feliz Navidad”

Okkervil River – “What Friends Do”

Rich Krueger – “And It’s That Time Again”

Katie Garibaldi – “Silent Night”

Gregor McEwan – “Home For Christmas”

Butch Parnell – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Renée Jonas – “My Man In Red”

Kate Rusby – “Deck the Halls”

Emma Charleston – “O Holy Night”

Waterloo Revival – “All I Want for Christmas”

Edan Archer– “It Just Wasn’t Christmas”

Prosecco Socialist (David Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy & Mike Greaves) – “This Dog’s Just For Christmas (Not For Life)”

Catherine McGrath – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers – “All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be With You)”

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “Just One Kiss”

The Emerald Ruby – “Here Comes Santa Claus”

Lindsey Stirling – “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy”

Pentatonix – “Away in a Manger”

The Heathen and the Holy – “When Christmas Comes Around”

Licking the Moose – “Longing For Snow”

Skinner and T’witch – “I Don’t Want an iPad (I Just Want World Peace)”

Michael Carpenter – “Another Xmas Song”

Kina Grannis and Imaginary Future – “Let It Snow”

mhm. – “White Winter Hymnal”

O’Hooley & Tidow – “We Sing Hallelujah”

Ryanhood – “Sleigh Ride”

Tesse – “Fat Man In A Red Suit”

The Heather Findlay Quartet – “The Snows That Melt The Soonest/Gaudete”

James Hoffman – “Go Tell it On the Mountain”

Blake Flattley – “Silent Night”

The Human Uniform Choir feat. Julianna Zachariou, Joelton Mayfield, tinkers, Dennis McCarke – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”

Emma Huntington and Hunter Montgomery – “Once in Royal David’s City”

Villagers – “White Christmas”

Jeff Tweedy, The Staves, Sarah Jarosz, Punch Brothers, Rich Dworsky and Ted Poor – “Fairytale of New York”

Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2017

2017

The final of our traditional end of year lists sees Timber and Steel Editor-in-Chief Gareth Hugh Evans sifts through all of the amazing music that was produced this year and pick his top 25 tracks. As always he’s tried to only pick one track per artist, although as you’ll see there’s some exceptions with different artists collaborating on different projects through 2017.

But enough of our jabbering – it’s time to get to the music. Without further ado we present Gareth Hugh Evans’ Top 25 Tracks of 2017.

1. Emma Davis – “Danger in Me”
Emma Davis just has a way of writing a song which draws you in and never lets go. With just a finger picked guitar, understated rhythm section, muted organ and reverbed vocals, Davis has created a piece of music that I genuinely put on repeat. The fact that there’s a very relevant social message underpinning “Danger in Me” just adds a depth to my appreciation of it. Thank you Emma Davis for producing one of the most beautiful three and a half minutes of 2017.

2. The East Pointers – “82 Fires”
For a band I almost exclusively associated with fiddle tunes, The East Pointers have delivered one of the best songs of the year with “82 Fires”. Co-written with our very own Liz Stringer about fires in Tasmania, “82 Fires” may be the most Australian song written by a trio of Canadians. There’s an epic feel to the song that shouldn’t be possible from three guys playing (mostly) acoustic instruments – but I’ve seen this song live and they get pretty close to reproducing the recording on stage. Try to listen to “82 Fires” on not have it stir something inside.

3. Willie Watson – “Gallows Pole”
No one interprets traditional American music quite like Willie Watson. Here he’s managed to take the Leadbelly classic “Gallows Pole” and turn it into a thoroughly modern, haunting piece of music which is a definite standout on his latest album, Folksinger Vol. 2.

4. The Morrisons feat. Georgia Mooney – “Long Time Travelling”
It seems odd to choose an a cappella song from a band that features some of the best bluegrass musicians in the country. But I just can’t get passed how delightful it is hear James Morrison singing over the combined voices of The Morrisons plus Georgia Mooney (All Our Exes Live In Texas). The harmonies, the dynamic variations, the passion – “Long Time Travelling” is pure joy.

5. Offa Rex – “Sheepcrook and Black Dog”
As you probably know by now we have A LOT of love for the 2017 Offa Rex album The Queen of Hearts. The collaboration between The Decemberists and Olivia Chaney is full of highlights and to be honest songs like “The Old Churchyard”, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Willie o’ Winsbury” are more likely to hit this year’s best of lists. But for me “Sheepcrook and Black Dog” captures the nostalgia of the late-60s/early-70s British folk revival better than any other track on The Queen of Hearts with its Steeleye Span style arrangement, crunchy Black Sabbath style guitars and Sandy Denny style vocal performance. “Sheepcrook and Black Dog” is vintage folk-rock for the modern era.

6. Laura Marling – “Next Time”
Laura Marling goes full Nick Drake on “Next Time”. The orchestral arrangement over the top of Marling’s inventive guitar tunings and finger-picking, along with her hushed but powerful vocal performance is so reminiscent of the late English singer-songwriter it can’t not have been inspired by his work. This is definitely the highlight of Semper Femina for me and it even comes with a video directed by Laura Marling herself.

7. The Young’uns – “Be the Man”
“Be The Man” was inspired by the story of Matthew Ogston, founder of the Naz and Matt Foundation which tackles religious and cultural homophobia, following the tragic death of his fiancé (you can read the full story here). The Young’uns have written a song which is not only powerful in its message, and deeply respectful to its subject matter, but also a wonderful compliment to the rest of their harmony-driven catalogue. Check out the video featuring Matthew Ogston himself.

8. Billy Bragg – “Why We Build the Wall”
When Anaïs Mitchell wrote “Why We Build the Wall” for her 2010 folk-opera Hadestown I doubt she knew how precient it was considering the build-the-wall platform Donald Trump ran on during his 2016 presidential campaign. Billy Bragg has been singing “Why We Build the Wall” for a few years now but it’s taken until this year for him to officially release it as a single. The political singer-songwriter has purposefully politicised the track and filled it with a jarring, electric guitar to great effect. Could this be the folk anthem for the Trump era?

9. David Rawlings – “Cumberland Gap”
The genius of David Rawlings and Gillian Welch is their ability to write songs that sound like they’ve existed forever and then produce those songs in such a way that makes it sound like they’re being “modernised”. “Cumberland Gap” is the perfect example of this – the track sounds so timeless yet so fresh at exactly the same time. That’s probably why it’s been getting so many comparisons to Neil Young.

10. Stu Larsen – “Chicago Song”
“Chicago Song” is exactly the kind of song you want from a singer-songwriter like Stu Larsen. Simple, catchy and foot-tappingly joyful, “Chicago Song” captures a little piece of magic.

11. The Ahern Brothers – “Comb That River”
Whoever decided to pair singer-songwriters Josh Rennie-Hynes and Steve Grady as The Ahern Brothers deserves all of my adulation. Their self titled debut album is an homage to the close harmony singing of The Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel, with “Comb That River” exemplifying their sound. Listen to this track and be transported back to another time.

12. Charlie Fink – “Firecracker”
I’m sure I’ve printed this elsewhere on Timber and Steel but for the reader’s benefit: Noah and The Whale’s 2009 album The First Days of Spring is one of my favourite albums of all time. So when ex-Noah and The Whale lead singer Charlie Fink releases a single like “Firecracker” that sounds like it’s been ripped directly from The First Days of Spring there’s no way this song wasn’t going to make my best of 2017 list.

13. All Our Exes Live in Texas – “Boundary Road”
“What if I want to be the one to fall apart once in a while?” has somehow become one of my favourite chorus lines of 2017. All Our Exes Live in Texas have taken on the lyrical challenge of the line, as well as the fight songwriter Katie Wighton had with her mum that inspired the line, and crafted one of the best songs from one of the best albums of the year. There is All Our Exes Live in Texas magic all over this song – with a simple “ooh” and “ahh” the quartet can elevate every song they touch. Lovely stuff.

14. Nick Mulvey – “Mountain To Move”
I’m going to make a prediction: “Mountain To Move” is the song most likely to appear on the soundtrack of sweet and quirky rom coms over the 12 months. Nick Mulvey continues to impress me with the way he crafts a song over a repeating melody line or guitar rhythm, building the simplicity into something more.

15. Julia Johnson – “Melissa”
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the new direction that Julia Johnson has taken with her songwriting in 2017. Moving beyond her work with Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens and working with producer Sarah Belkner, Johnson is producing some of the most interesting music of her career. I have a feeling “Melissa” is only the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming next from Julia Johnson and I can’t wait.

16. The Northern Folk – “Get On”
Despite the wealth of shows they’ve done this year I only managed to catch Melbourne folk 10 piece The Northern Folk live for the first time really recently. They manage to combine the indie folk sound of bands like The Middle East with the distinct groove that comes with having a saxophone heavy horn section. “Get On” epitomises The Northern Folk’s unique sound for me and was one of those songs that made me hit the repeat button again and again the first time I heard it.

17. Fanny Lumsden – “Roll On”
Want to know what it’s like to be an Australian artist on an endless tour of our country? Listen to the lyrics of “Roll On”. What I love about this track is its authenticity. This isn’t the Americanised version of the Australian outback full of dust kicking cowboys and pickup trucks. And this isn’t the romanticised nostalgic version of Australia either with its drovers and men-of-the-land. Instead “Roll On” is a song about about what its like to hit the road in 2017 complete with speeding fines, Gaytimes, roadtrains and small town bowlos. Keep writing songs like this Fanny Lumsden.

18. Paul Kelly – “Firewood and Candles”
After a few years of genre and experimental albums Paul Kelly announced his return to the classic Paul Kelly with the killer track “Firewood and Candles”. That rocking riff with Kelly’s vocals (ably supported by Vikka and Linda Bull) is just so damn catchy. If you wonder why everyone’s making such a fuss over Paul Kelly at the moment, why he’s winning awards and being praised at every turn, just listen to the songs on his 2017 album Life Is Fine, starting with “Firewood and Candles”.

19. Gretta Ziller – “Slaughterhouse Blues”
If someone asks you for the best voice in Australian Americana music then just show them Gretta Ziller. There may be some artists earlier in this list who you could squeeze into the genre, but as far as pure Americana music goes you can’t get much better than Ziller’s “Slaughterhouse Blues”. This is a modern track with its feet firmly in roots music. And that production! Perfection! More of this please Gretta Ziller.

20. I’m With Her – “Little Lies”
Before the release of “Little Lies” the American super-goup I’m With Her were really known for interpreting traditional music or covers of contemporary songs. But then this track comes along and solidifies the (probabaly assumed) fact that I’m With Her are a band to watch. Aoife O’Donovan has one of the best voices in Americana music, and it’s all the sweeter combined with the voices of Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz. And Watkins’ fiddle playing on this track is some of my favourite instrumental work in 2017.

21. BATTS – “Little White Lies”
I’ve been a fan of Tanya Batt’s music for some time, but it’s been her transformation into BATTS and the lo-fi, shoe-gaze, lyric driven songwriting that has come with it that has really caught my attention in 2017. “Little White Lies” is the second single released under the BATTS moniker and it’s by far my favourite, with its etherial production and confessional lyrics. I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more from BATTS in the coming months and I can’t wait.

22. Taryn La Fauci – “Winter”
When her EP Cycling came out I messaged Taryn La Fauci and told her “Just wanted to tell you that I’m in love with your track “Winter”.” Above every other song on the EP “Winter” struck me, most likely because this year I lost my cat as well and the lyrics just resonated. This song was on repeat for a lot of this year – thank you for sharing it with me Taryn La Fauci.

23. Diamond Duck – “Marry Me By The Sea”
Another collaboration (this time between The Morrisons’ Jimmy Daley and Canadian-Australian singer-songwriter Brian Campeau) that evokes the close harmony singing of The Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel, Diamond Duck have made quite an impression with their first single “Marry Me By The Sea”. What makes this stand out for me is the way the Diamond Duck boys explore unusual, almost twisted chords in their accompaniment while maintaining a sweetness in their vocal delivery. Listen to the piano “solo” in the middle of the song and you’ll see what I mean – there’s something a little off kilter in the track and it’s absolutely delicious.

24. Stella Donnelly – “Boys Will Be Boys”
In the wake of the #metoo movement and everything that’s been coming out in the media over the last few months I think Australia needed a song like “Boys Will Be Boys”. Stella Donnelly has made quite a splash this year and with her amazing voice and lyrical chops I can imagine there’s big things on the horizon for the singer-songwriter.

25. Johnny Flynn – “Wandering Aengus”
The return of Johnny Flynn to music this year was heralded by this really quirky track and promised much from his new album Sillion. All the elements of what makes a classic Johnny Flynn song are here – his amazing voice, jangly guitar and subtle horn accompaniment – but there’s also something a little twisted about the structure of this track that I really really like. Definitely up there with my favourite Johnny Flynn songs.

I’m With Her Announce Debut Album See You Around

I'm With Her
Image Courtesy of I’m With Her

US folk super-group I’m With Her, made up of singers Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, have finally announced plans to release their debut album See You Around on the 16th February.

The album was co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and features 11 original tracks plus a version of the never before released Gillian Welch-penned “Hundred Miles”.

“We all feel immensely fortunate to be in this band together,” says I’m With Her. “As longtime friends and fans of each other’s music, it’s been wonderful to realize that writing and collaborating together fits so seamlessly into our lives. And now, we’re so excited to get to tour and share the work we’ve done as a band with our debut album, See You Around.”

The full track listing for See You Around plus a stream of the title track below:

1. See You Around
2. Game To Lose
3. Ain’t That Fine
4. Pangaea
5. I-89
6. Wild One
7. Waitsfield
8. Ryland (Under The Apple Tree)
9. Overland
10. Crescent City
11. Close It Down
12. Hundred Miles

Watch the New I’m With Her Video “Little Lies”

I'm with her
Image Courtesy of I’m With Her

I’m With Her, the trio project from American folk favourites Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan have just released their new video “Little Lies”.

Despite the trio being around for the last couple of years “Little Lies” is their first original release and was written and recorded over three days back in May.

Check out the video below:

Aoife O’Donovan Announces New Album In The Magic Hour

Aoife
Image Courtesy of Aoife O’Donovan

Americana and folk singer Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still) has announced plans to release her second solo album In The Magic Hour on the 22nd January.

A followup to O’Donovan’s highly successful debut Fossils, In The Magic Hour will see contributions from the likes of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Chris Thile (Punch Brothers), Nate Query (The Decemberists), Brooklyn Rider, Gabriel Kahane and more.

The full track listing is below along with the video for the first single “Magic Hour”:

1. Stanley Park
2. Magic Hour
3. Porch Light
4. Hornets
5. Magpie
6. Donal Óg
7. The King of All Birds
8. Not The Leaving
9. Detour Sign
10. Jupiter

Watch Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan Cover “Crossing Muddy Waters”

I'm With Her
Image Courtesy of I’m With Her

I’m With Her is the latest collaboration from American alt-country stars Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still). The trio have been busy touring the US and have also released a limited edition vinyl 7″ featuring a cover of “Crossing Muddy Waters” by John Hiatt and an a cappella version of “Be My Husband” by Andy Stroud.

“Crossing Muddy Waters” comes with a video which we love – check it out below:

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